A group of 23 riders started the Challenge Cup road race #2 in Grande Prairie under a blistering sun with temperatures of 28C.
After a neutral 7km climb to start the race, Steven Ferris of FSJ wasted no time and launched a hard attack. Steve Magusin of GP was the only rider to chase him down. The pack was content to let the two riders go and melt in the heat with over 60km to go. A gap of at least 1km existed as Steven and Steve approached the first intermediate sprint at the 17km mark. Steven Ferris sprinted first taking the first point by half a wheel. As the second intermediate sprint approached at the 27km mark, the two cyclists lead increased to 2km. Once again Steven Ferris took the sprint points by half a wheel.
Meanwhile, the pack was being plagued with some bad luck. Mark Kildaw, Joe Radench and Mike Hietzman all flatted but all were able to make repairs and get back into the action. Dave Damery also flatted but was unable to repair and ended up with a DNF on the scorecard. Carla Kufelt buzzed a tire and went down. Also crashing was Ross Garbutt of FSJ. Both riders were able to lick their wounds and continue riding.
With the main pack unorganized, Ferris and Magusin's lead went to 6 minutes. Steven Ferris once again grabbed another point accelerating from behind to nab Steve Magusin by a wheel width at the first intermediate climb at the 30km mark. Steve Magusin finally grabbed a point in winning the second intermediate climb by 50m as Steven Ferris missed a shift and was content to give up a point.
After the turn around at 35km, the first two riders held on to a 5-minute lead. The pack tried to organize a couple of chases but interest faded as the lead riders were out of sight. The pack was content to race for third spot.
The two lead riders approached the final 3km hill climb before the finish. Steven Ferris's young legs opened up an early gap hitting the finish line 40 seconds ahead of Steve Magusin. (and his old legs: )
Colin McArthur led the charge of the chase pack up the final hill taking third place followed closely by Vaughn Hildebrand, Mike Hietzman, Joseph Gladysz and Scott Perry. (See list for all race times and points)
Fort St. John once again earned the most cup points with 59. Grande Prairie settled for 51.
The next challenge cup race moves into the dirt (mountain biking) as Grande Prairie holds cup race #3 at the Wapiti Nordic Ski Trails on July 27th.